Addleshaw Goddard Training Contract Application Model Answers
Describe a recent team working experience, and more specifically, what role you played within the team (200 words max)
Recently, I had undertaken a ‘[legal practice area]’ module where as a group we had to work in a simulated solicitor’s environment. We remained a strong and fully functioning team right up until the end of the case. We each had to allocate each other tasks to complete before the date of the trial. For example, I was responsible for preparing the cross-examination. I agreed that it was a good idea to work individually to ensure that one could concentrate and meet deadlines, however I suggested that once we have accomplished our tasks it would be a good idea to meet and overview each other’s contribution. Team members found the meetings very helpful in terms of gaining another perspective on the task they are working on and conceptualising the overall coherence and unity of the case. This resulted in team members taking their initiative to try and help each other which in turn allowed us to produce a more innovative and timely solution to the client’s problem. Above all, working as a team ensured that the overall process was smooth and professionally and personally rewarding.
Tell us why you have applied to Addleshaw Goddard, and how we are different from our competitors (200 words max)
I am especially attracted by the training and career development prospects at Addleshaw Goddard. Not only will I get an opportunity to develop and enrich my knowledge of four broad divisions (finance and projects, contentious and commercial, corporate and real estate) which I have studied with great interest and passion at undergraduate level, but I will do so in a very collegial and team-spirited atmosphere. What distinguishes Addleshaw Goddard from other firms is that within the four key divisions operate specialist areas such as sport, intellectual property and employment law. The seat arrangement will therefore see me working in four core areas and at the same time developing expertise within specialist areas. This will therefore give me the flexibility in selecting areas of interest and avoid over-specialisation at the beginning.
Unlike other firms, Addleshaw Goddard acts for a wide range of clients, ranging from government departments and FTSE 100 companies such as HSBC and J Sainsbury, to well known brand names such as The Football League and Ferrari to high net worth individuals. In turn, this will give me the confidence of serving different types of clients and solving problems in different contexts.
This will see me working on big and precedent-setting deals such as ‘Rio Tinto’ with lawyers from many different practice areas where I will see history in the making. Henceforth my learning trajectory will have a steep learning curve whereby I will acquire the requisite knowledge to be a successful solicitor with an ability to approach a problem from several angles. More importantly, I am very much exhilarated by the chance to be seconded to a client as it will provide me with a means to acquire industry specific knowledge as well as with an opportunity to impress the clients through my convivial and professional characteristics. Following the acquisition of certain skills, my ambition would be to form a part of the matrix of expertise which will be an effective gateway to my participation in cross-jurisdictional deals. This would serve as a steppingstone to my ambition to become a successful international lawyer.
Tell us why you have decided to pursue a career in commercial law and how you have made this decision (200 words max)
I am interested in becoming a solicitor at a commercial law firm because it will allow me to assume the role of a project manager and will vest me with early responsibility. In my second year I have completed a legal practice course where I was working in a group on a mock-trial case involving a breach of contract. This course has allowed me to incorporate my knowledge of law in a simulated solicitor’s environment. I genuinely enjoyed the team work and problem-solving elements of the course.Having worked at [law firm], I found my interest in corporate and commercial law and realised that it would suit my energetic and convivial personality. Given that commercial law is both transactional and ongoing suggests that I will have to build a rapport with the client and apply strong communication skills coupled with high technical ability when forming a clear picture of the client’s needs and objectives and then explaining what may well be a complex area of law when advising on the best solution. This may require me to liaise with a number of legal departments thus making each day unique, enjoyable and fulfilling work experience.
For a recent commercial issue that interests you, outline the impact on law firms and the opportunities and threats that it might represent. (200 words max)
In recent months, a number of important changes have taken place in the regulatory and competitive environments for law firms. The Solicitors Regulation Authority has introduced entity-based regulation, and legal disciplinary practices (LDPs) are now possible, allowing up to 25% of the equity in a firm to be owned by non-solicitors for the first time.
Opening the market to alternative business structures (ABS) will help to transform the way in which legal services are delivered. It offers benefits to consumers of legal services, be they private individuals, small businesses or large companies.More competition will be good for the legal services sector as it is has been in other sectors.
Clients want pragmatic and timely solution to their problems. However, in attaining this fundamental objective clients also expect to receive a first-class service. This means that the solicitor must maintain an effective dialogue with the client in case any changes surface. A client expects a solicitor to listen to their problem and give several possible solutions to the problem with their respective implications. This will increase the choice and allow the client to plan their business accordingly. Moreover, clients assume that the solicitor understands their sector of operation to ensure that the results are tailored to the situation at hand. This is especially important in maintaining the competitive advantage of the client’s business. Furthermore, a solicitor is expected to respond to the client immediately as soon as any issues arise and ensure that the problem is dealt with promptly and successfully.
What do clients want from their solicitor? (200 words max)